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Trust in business

A few weeks back we were fortunate enough to have Lindsay Tanner (former Labor Minister for Finance and Deregulation) pop in to see us for a discussion on his past experiences, and how they have shaped both his business and personal values.

He had a lot of great insight to share, but what resonated with me most was his views around the notion of trust.

Why? Because trust is the foundation of our society.

Every time you get in a car you’re trusting that the manufacturer built it correctly. You’re trusting other drivers on the road. You’re trusting the traffic light sequence will run as it should. Every time you enter a building you’re trusting that the engineers have designed it correctly, and construction workers have built it correctly, and it’s not going to fall down around you.

Trust impacts everything we do. It is the fundamental foundation of a functioning society. If we didn’t trust in those and what is around us, we would live in an utterly dysfunctional environment of chaos!

This is equally true in business. Nothing is more important to sustained business success than trust.

You may have the most amazing service in the world, but if your customers don’t trust you, they aren’t going to work with you. If your staff don’t trust you, they won’t work for you. If your suppliers don’t trust you, they are not going to partner with you.

To me, trust is like a bank account that you can either make deposits into or withdrawals out of with your actions. Every action you take or that is observed by your customers, colleagues, partners, friends, suppliers, etc is either a deposit into the account or a withdrawal. However a withdrawal costs you 1000 times more than a deposit! You need to choose your actions wisely, because it can take just one wrong move to bankrupt your trust account.

Trust is the cornerstone for business and personal success. If you don’t build relationships based on trust, then failure is inevitable.